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Al-Bashir faces death sentence over 1989 coup

By Abuga Makori in Nairobi , Garowe Online

KHARTOUM - Ousted Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir is facing fresh charges over his involvement in a coup, Khartoum media has revealed.

The former strongman is already facing economic crimes in a military court, which involves alleged money laundering and corruption throughout his tenure in office.

Attorney General Taj Al-Sir Ali Al-Habr said he had formed a committee to investigate the June 30, 1989, military coup which was led by the ousted president.

The committee’s findings will form the basis of prosecution of the Islamic Movement's leaders, including civilians and military personnel, for undermining the constitutional system.

“The committee has the competencies of public prosecution of military coup perpetrators,” Al-Heabr was quoted by state media.

Should he be found guilty, Al-Bashir could be slapped with the death penalty or life imprisonment, further escalating his already worse situation.

The law does not limit the pressing charges no matter the duration. This, the new regime believes, will curb future coup attempts in the Northern Africa nation.

Coups in Sudan have been recurring since independence. The first was recorded in 1958, exactly two years after the country attained independence.

Before his ouster' this year, Al-Bashir was already facing crimes against humanity over atrocities committed in Darfur. The West had also blacklisted Sudan for allegedly sponsoring terrorists.

Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is now on a diplomatic offensive to have Sudan removed from the US state sponsors of terrorism blacklist, which has limited its ability to attract investments or secure external financing for development in the face of a $55 billion debt stockpile.

Besides Al-Bashir, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Nafie Ali Nafie, Ali Al-Haj Mohammed, Ibrahim Al-Sanusi and leaders of the National Islamic Front party led by Hassan Al-Turabi also face charges of undermining the constitutional order.

Despite being indicted by the International Criminal Court, Al-Bashir survived arrest after a number of nations failed to implement an arrest warrant.

In 2010, he was invited to Kenya for the promulgation of the new constitution but wasn't arrested. Similarly, he survived arrest in South Africa and Jordan.

Analysts believe that the attempt to press charges against those involved in corruption and genocide will restore sanity in Khartoum.

"There are more pressing regime symbols that the transitional authority in Sudan should punish such as corruption, the killing of demonstrators, as well as war crimes in the areas of armed conflict, whether in Darfur or South Kordofan,” said Tariq Osman.

Violent demonstrations erupted after his ouster, with Sudanese people pushing for civilian rule. The military has since brokered a deal with the opposition.

Al-Bashir becomes the second African leader to be jailed our subversion of the Constitution. Former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi died in jail this year.


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